LETTER – Health policies regarding wood smoke need to be updated

Dear editor,

RE: Candidates respond favourably to air quality questionnaire, Oct. 3.

I am pleased to see local political candidates expressing a favourable interest in reducing harmful exposure of wood smoke in the Comox Valley. As a fourth year bachelor of science in nursing student from North Island College I have learned about the widespread harmful impacts that fine particulates released from wood burning have on cardiovascular and respiratory health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states polluted air leads to complex health issues such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections (WHO, 2018). The WHO estimates 7 million people die annually from exposure related to fine particulates (2018); the Comox Valley is not an exception to this statement. The Comox Valley has an ongoing air pollution problem impacting the health of all citizens, particularly the at-risk populations of young children and older adults (Breathe Clean Air, 2018).

The cleanliness of the air we breath is not up to us; we breathe the fine particulates released from burnt wood from neighbouring houses all around us. I see smoke being released into the air in many Comox Valley neighbourhoods during the winter months. As a concerned nursing student who understands health impacts of smoke exposure I am eager to see policy changes in support of improved environmental health. Government policies can support regulatory measures of protecting our right to clean air and reducing emissions, as well as provide better incentives for people moving to clean heating sources (Breathe Clean Air, 2018).

I want to encourage the new city counsellors to protect public safety by supporting and implementing positive environmental health policy changes. As citizens of the Comox Valley we must pursue steps towards changing policy regulations through awareness and advocacy.

For more information and how you can get involved locally visit: https://breathecleanair.ca

Emma Paul,

Courtenay

Just Posted

UPDATED: Town of Comox, RCMP complete investigations into allegations of staff misconduct

Town statement falsely claims it was made aware of the incident Sept. 17

Boomer Jerritt next North Island College Artist Talk speaker

Acclaimed Comox Valley photographer, artist and world traveller Boomer Jerritt is coming… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports volunteer recruitment session planned

The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports is a non-profit charitable society… Continue reading

City, Courtenay Legion collaborate on special tulip project

1,000+ tulip bulbs planted in advance of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands

Cumberland wastewater procurement process should come in 2020

Construction on the first phase of the lagoon would likely begin in 2021

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Comox Valley Nature hosting one-day conference to discuss Courtenay’s Urban Forest Plan

Comox Valley Nature (CVN) is opening its annual Fall Vancouver Island Regional… Continue reading

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read